Summer, 1972: In the claustrophobic heat, eleven-year-old Byron and his friend begin 'Operation Perfect', a hapless mission to rescue Byron's mother from impending crisis. Winter, present day: As frost creeps across the moor, Jim cleans tables in the local cafe, a solitary figure struggling with OCD. His job is a relief from the rituals that govern his nights. Little would seem to connect them except that two seconds can change everything. And if your world can be shattered in an instant, can time also put it right?
A new Sunday Times bestseller from the author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry with a very different but equally unlikely and heartrending hero. A story of secrets, a terrible mistake, and the destructive nature of perfection.
"A near-flawless novel of emotional truth. Joyce executes this story with precision and flair... Its unputdownable factor lies in its exploration of so many multilayered emotions... It is her clever did-I-read-that-right twist at the end that really got to me and had me scrabbling back through the chapters, open-mouthed." Evening Standard "The power of Joyce's prose lies in small, astute observations... [her] subtle touches give the book an intense, slightly mesmeric feel. Tense and engrossing... readers who loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will not be disappointed." Sunday Times "Joyce's faith in the essential goodness of humanity and her observation of the comedy in the everyday shine through... This is a darker, more complex novel than Joyce's first but readers will find other points of comparison. Not least a twist that few will see coming and will leave you reeling; and a redemptive ending that is perhaps the sweeter given all the pain that goes before. An instant classic, Perfect confirms Rachel Joyce as a major new British literary voice." Daily Express "Diana herself is faultless. She is to Perfect what Harold Fry was to [The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry]: a fully rounded hero, someone to fall in love with and argue about, cherish and admonish, as though she were real... If only there were more novelists like Rachel Joyce" Telegraph "What's right with it? You'll fall in love with the characters. They're kind, anxious, flawed, funny and wonderful. Also, knowing that the two stories will have to meet builds a wonderful sense of tension. What's wrong with it? Nothing. It's brilliant. Even the fact that Byron is convinced that scientists tried to slip an extra two seconds into time is a wonderful hook for all the decisions he goes on to make. Verdict: Uplifting, engaging, sad and funny. A perfect follow-up to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry." Heat magazine's #1 book to be reading right now (July)
Rachel Joyce is also the author of the Sunday Times and international bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She was awarded the Specsavers National Book Awards 'New Writer of the Year' in December 2012. She lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and four children. www.rachel-joyce.co.uk